Kibaki and Raila asked to fulfil promises to women

Published on 06/02/2009

By Beauttah Omanga

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have been asked to fully implement their pre-election pledges to accord women at least 30 per cent representation in Government.

Led by Gender and Social Development Secretary Colleta Suda and Nominated MP Rachael Shebesh, women leaders criticised the two leaders for failing to implement Government policies on gender representation.

“Kenyan women are tired of mere rhetoric of goodies and accommodation in positions of leadership. We want the leaders to implement all that they have publicly declared for the interest of women of this country,” said Prof Suda.

Shebesh said it was wrong for the political class to promise women equal representation at election time only to renege on the pledges soon afterwards.

“We want the big talk translated into action. If the Kenyan woman was given key ministries in Government, the current messes and confusion Kenyans are facing including poverty and hunger won’t be there,” she said.

Public appointments

Suda said women were still waiting for the implementation of a presidential decree in 2006 promising women 30 per cent representation in all appointments to public positions.

“To date, President Kibaki’s declaration in 2006 remains a mere decree. We want him to implement the same and initiate procedures to have it in law,” she said.

The women leaders spoke on Friday at the ‘Kenya We Want’ conference.

The women also asked Planning and Vision 2030 Minister Wycliffe Oparanya to relax rules used in lending to women money from the Government kitty. They said the required documents such as title deeds were a deterrent to single mothers and young women investors.

Addressing the same conference, Ms Doleris Jordan, mother to world celebrated basketball icon Michael Jordan, urged Kenyan women to continue fighting for space in all sectors of governance.

“It is only your unity that will see you get what you want. You must pull together and I am convinced with determination, you will achieve no matter after how long,” she said.

She pledged to use her resources and those of friends to assist needy Kenyans.

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